Gov. Murphy decides to hold off on closing all schools


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Governor Phil Murphy is not keen on the idea of closing schools again.

Ava Curtis, Staff Writer

Gov. Phil Murphy has put his foot down on his stance that he’s not ready to declare a statewide school closure. Murphy has chosen to play the waiting game by allowing schools to remain open until local health data dictates their closure, which in turn is similar to other state governors.

No state has ordered all schools to close this fall due to rising coronavirus cases yet. “These numbers are lower than I believe anyone could have anticipated,” Murphy said about the 192 known Covid-19 cases related to the in-school transmission.

The state reported a total of 3,517 new coronavirus cases Thursday, Nov. 12. Some districts that opened their buildings this fall have been forced to shut down and close due to this new wave in cases.

Murphy turned down the rumor that he would close all schools from late November until late January as an extra preventative measure with the holidays approaching soon. Other states are also trying to keep students in classrooms despite the rise in cases.

Ultimately, how long schools can stay open during the second wave in New Jersey will be determined by the public’s priorities.

The state has temporarily banned interstate indoor sports like hockey for elementary, middle, and high school students. And Murphy has already tightened the restrictions on bars and restaurants, limiting their hours of operation for indoor service. 

On Thursday, state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli called the recent spike in cases “a wake-up call.” And issued a warning to anyone who wants to keep schools and businesses open. “If we continue on this trajectory, our state will return to the situation we were in last spring,” Perischilli said.

Persichilli and many more health officials have been consistently urging New Jersey residents to take extra preventative measures to avoid spreading the virus, and as we are taking on the second wave, this issue has become even more important.